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(Politico)   "Whenever we hear a call for XX miles per gallon by 2025, we repeat the mantra 'let the process work!'" The process would have left you bankrupt, toots   (politico.com ) divider line 359
    More: Stupid, AP Photo Close, House Speaker John Boehner, mantras, emission standard, Energy and Commerce Committee, punching power, model year, fuel economy  
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15330 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jun 2011 at 12:34 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-06-03 02:13:50 PM  

the_geek: Snarfangel: And you can use the money to build infrastructure, reduce other taxes, or give every American a rebat

Gas taxes are regressive.


Then use a portion of the funds collected to increase the earned income tax credit.
 
2011-06-03 02:14:08 PM  
If we are going to mandate something we should mandate the creation of the infrastructure for Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles. The cars are already here and the technology works. Hydrogen is clean. The only thing missing is a convenient system of fueling stations from coast to coast. The cost could be recouped via a modest tax on Hydrogen fueling.

I'd be happy to see my tax dollars pay for creation of that system so we could begin to wean ourselves from oil and tell the OPEC barons to drink their product.
 
2011-06-03 02:14:24 PM  

raygundan: Aar1012: serial_crusher: Infinity miles per gallon. You really think the government should enforce "efficiency" standards that don't include things like "hey fatass, stop carrying 4 tons of needless machinery to work with you every day"?

I bet you use an Apple.

/Posted from my iBook

That bike has gears and both front and rear brakes. Wouldn't the stereotypical Hipster have a fixie?


And why would the hipster use a 12 year old Apple product instead of buying the latest one? Or, I guess they're being ironic or something.
 
2011-06-03 02:15:18 PM  
How many people here RTFA? It was just political BS between the Obama Administration, the EPA, the NHTSA, automakers, California and Massachusetts.

I've got to comment on bikes too.

I ride a bike to work nearly every day. I drove today due to an injury. I know that 90+% of people will not ride a bike to work, for a variety of reasons.

The easiest way to save on fuel cost is to drive less. Combine trips, walk or ride a bike for short trips, that sort of thing.

Cars will always be around. We just need to be smarter about using them.

/ I've got a pickup - gas isn't an issue when you rarely drive
 
2011-06-03 02:16:20 PM  

kapaso: olddinosaur: Okay Farkers, here comes the math:

Let us say a Chevy Volt at 60 mpg costs $32K.

Let us say a comparable car with a 30 mpg gas engine costs $16K.

Let us say gas is $4 a gallon.

At that rate you would have to drive 240,000 miles to save the difference.

Simple?

And that doesn't include the extra interest most people would pay on the 32K. Run the numbers with a truck that gets 16mpg and the upgrade gets a lot more attractive though.


That's not going to stop you from biatching about the next gas price increase cutting your savings down to only 190,000 miles though.
 
2011-06-03 02:16:43 PM  

olddinosaur: Okay Farkers, here comes the math:

Let us say a Chevy Volt at 60 mpg costs $32K.
Let us say a comparable car with a 30 mpg gas engine costs $16K.
Let us say gas is $4 a gallon.
At that rate you would have to drive 240,000 miles to save the difference.
Simple?


Yup. Here are the assumptions you made -

• The Volt will never run in electric mode
• The price of gas will not change
• The price of electricity will not change
• The price of the Volt and the gas engine cars will not change over time
• The efficiency of the Volt engine will not change over time
• The only thing to consider is cost

If you are deciding right now, should I get a Volt or a normal compact car and the only thing you care about is money, yes, get the compact car.
 
2011-06-03 02:18:45 PM  

janeuner: ha-ha-guy: We build what people want.

No, they really don't.

I want a compact pickup truck with an extended cab that is powered by a modern 1.6L-1.8L engine. It should have a beefy 2WD driveline, a top speed of 80-90mph, and put out about 160 ft-lb of torque.

I could purchase a truck 20 years ago that had most of these features. Both Ford and GM have current designs for the engine, transmission, platform, and body to build this vehicle. Why the hell can't I buy it???


I said people, not person. 20 years ago not enough people purchased it and thus we moved in other directions. Namely GIGANTIC SUPER DUTY MAN TRUCK ENDORSED BY MANY NFL STARS. People buy that in bulk, your truck does not sell in bulk.

/you can get a 2.3 Liter Ranger for cheap
//don't think you can get the cab though without going to the big truck level
 
2011-06-03 02:18:50 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob:
But then, you've got all the gear. You'll need riding clothes and a helmet and a light. You'll need a bag to carry your work clothes in. You'll also need a spare innertube and be able to change one (quickly, unless you want to be late for work). And a bike pump. That all costs money. And, there will be regular upkeep. I'd get a flat about once every month (admittedly, I think I had bad luck/bad road conditions). At $12 or whatever it was, it represented a significant amount of my savings.


I tend to leave my work clothes at work(bring in a spare set the day before the ride), so delete the bag.
Why do I need the spare tube/pump? I haven't had a flat in years(yay routine maintenance!). I've had more flat tires on my car. And if my car/truck gets a flat, well, I'm going to be late to work anyways. Given cell phones today, I might just get a cab(or given my location, hail a ride from any of the numerous truck drivers on the road, perhaps even one of my coworkers).

In your case, well, it sounds like either your roads are really, really bad, or there's something wrong with your tires, rims, or install method.

Then, you've got the time factor. Your 10 mile ride can easily transform a 15 minute commute into a 40 minute bicycle ride.

You ride faster than I do. Of course, I also have the concern of rush hour highway traffic.

How much is your time worth?

Around $10-20/hour. So biking to work only makes sense in the context of it being more fun and/or regaining that 15 minute commute time as exercise time. In my case, physical fitness is mandatory - I can lose my job/career over it.

You'll also, inevitably, get stuck riding your 10 miles home in horrible weather that was not present when you left for work in the morning.

Weather prediction has gotten pretty good as long as you check in the morning for the anticipated afternoon weather...

Of course, this all assumes you still have your primary vehicle. If you can ditch that, you'd save a lot.

I've done the math: I got a bicycle and a motorcycle for fun, because, well, while a car would save me money, I need a truck around once a week. At the rate I need one, it's not worth renting it, and once I have that truck, I can't justify(with my driving habits), buying an econobox to save money - the extra insurance, registration fees, etc... Kill your savings.

Example:
20 mpg truck(I didn't buy a huge one):
40 mpg econobox.
$3.50 gasoline.
At ~20 miles a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, I'll conviently use 1 gallon a day, 365 gallons a year, $1,277.50 in fuel expenses. Switching to a 40 mpg econobox for 100% of the driving would potentially save me $638.75. Figure $400 for insurance and registration, that's $238.75 left.

I might be able to justify it on the idea of the econobox being cheaper, therefore preserving the value of my truck, but most 40 mpg cars are actually MORE expensive than my truck.
 
2011-06-03 02:18:58 PM  

olddinosaur: Okay Farkers, here comes the math:

Let us say a Chevy Volt at 60 mpg costs $32K.

Let us say a comparable car with a 30 mpg gas engine costs $16K.

Let us say gas is $4 a gallon.

At that rate you would have to drive 240,000 miles to save the difference.

Simple?


A comparable car is going to cost more than 16k. The Volt comes decently equipped. Equip a Cruz comparatively and it's going to be around 20k, but also gets better than 30mpg.

You are assuming a static price for gas. That is probably not going to be the case over the next say, 5 years.
 
2011-06-03 02:19:16 PM  

Kreigenstein: Not really, they're just measured and tested differently. A new Prius, tested to the EPA standards gets 50mpg. Using the same car in the Euro standard gets 76 mpg (imperial).

Imperial Gallons are 20% larger. The standards are different as well but the majority comes from their humongous gallons.



Look carefully at what you just wrote. Imperial Gallons are 20% larger. 50mpg * 1.2 = 60mpg... so it accounts for 10mpg of the 26mpg difference. It's obviously *not* the majority of the difference between EPA and UK fuel economy ratings.
 
2011-06-03 02:22:03 PM  

jest788: This is going to be my next car... 23 mpg! woot!


Local place near me has one of those. Nice.

I drive a VW Diesel - 50 mpg +...Oh well
 
2011-06-03 02:22:09 PM  
I spend 5 dollars a week on gas. I got a 150cc scooter, and I drive it nine miles each way per day. I didn't do it to feel smug, I did it to feel more in control of what I spend.
The bike cost 2,000 dollars brand new. At my rate of fuel consumption, it will STILL take 9 years of fuel savings to pay for the bike.
This is because I drive (for work purposes only) 20 miles per day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks a year. My car gets 37 MPG maximum, my bike gets 80 MPG maximum.
At that rate, for my commute, I drive 5200 miles per year. 140 gallons of fuel for the car or 65 gallons in the bike. I save 75 gallons of fuel consumption per year of driving to run the scooter, (I don't drive it every day, though), and at an average fuel cost of 3.60 per gallon, I only save 270 dollars a year in fuel to ride the scooter.

I seriously doubt any hybrid car will save me even a nickel, since the Hyundai Accent costs 13000 dollars and the Toyota Prius costs almost twice that. No, the Toyota just runs on smug, and that's the only way to justify such a purchase.
 
2011-06-03 02:24:51 PM  

zippythechimp: jest788: This is going to be my next car... 23 mpg! woot!

Local place near me has one of those. Nice.

I drive a VW Diesel - 50 mpg +...Oh well



Helps that I live 2 blocks from a subway station that I walk to every day and then take the subway to work. So this would be my sweet sweet weekend driver :)
 
2011-06-03 02:25:03 PM  

lennavan: Yup. Here are the assumptions you made -

• The Volt will never run in electric mode



Be fair. This is not in his assumptions-- he said 60mpg, which is the EPA-rated combined city/highway/partial electric efficiency of the Volt. Put another way, it gets 37mpg combined if it never runs in electric mode, so he is quite clearly assuming it runs some of the time on electricity.
 
2011-06-03 02:25:05 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: serial_crusher: Fark_Guy_Rob: the economics of owning a bicycle pretty much suck

You're going to have to elaborate on that. Maybe if you're riding some top of the line racing bike and cleaning/replacing components regularly. But, you can go to craigslist and get a reasonable commuter bike for like $300. Ride that to work twice a week and you're going to pay it off in gas savings after a couple months.

Assume a car that gets 15mpg
Assume a gas price of $3.50 gallon
Assume a bicycle price of $300
Assume a 10 mile commute (20 miles each day)

That $300 bicycle could have gotten you 1,285 miles of driving. Enough miles for 12.8 weeks of work (assuming five day work weeks).

...

Anyway, bicycling is very popular where I live (Fort Collins, CO) but the vast, vast, vast majority of cyclists I know (myself included) don't actually save any money. A lot of them won't admit it. I purchased my bicycle and gear to 'save money on gas'. I never hit the break-even point. Again, if it's something you enjoy, sure, go for it. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's hard to do and almost certainly requires 'ignoring' factors because it suits you.



Those are all great points. There are a few things to factor in that you missed:
1. Insurance. My car costs $886 a year to insure, which is $74 a month.
2. Bike repairs get easier as you get more experience. A flat takes me 3 minutes to repair now. I have spent about $400 on bike gear this year, but that neglects a $400 repair job at the end of December (Jessica's wheels were _shot_, the rims were hollowing out.)
3. Cars cost money to buy. If you assume that you already have one, that's great.
4. I've spent about $964 extra on food this year, not including my regular meals. Note that this is more than my car insurance.
5. I used to weigh 250# and I'm down to 165#. I had to buy lots of new clothing, everything from suits to socks. Even my shoe sizes went down. That took several years, now my weight is going back up but that's muscle mass -- I've added several inches to my chest, arms, and thighs.
6. Biking year-round does require extra gear, like you're saying: On a rainy day in the winter, I'll wear... wow, about $600 worth of lights and waterproof clothes, not including shoes and helmets, which I wear all the time.
7. I do go to the gym, but that's because 1) There's one next door, 2) eye candy, 3) upper-body fitness.
8. You're also forgetting the maintenance on the car, like oil changes, tires, washes, etc. My total costs for "transportation" are $1250 for the year. (That includes the insurance and some gas but also about $50 for bus passes. It does get bad enough for a few days when I just don't bike, usually snow days)

Years ago, I learned that biking doesn't save a huge amount of money, if any, due to the desire for toys and other stuff. Compared to a second car, it's saving a HUGE amount of money. Sometimes I just can't bike, like when I'm going diving.
 
2011-06-03 02:27:10 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Then, you've got the time factor. Your 10 mile ride can easily transform a 15 minute commute into a 40 minute bicycle ride


Depends on road congestion I guess. My 10 mile drive usually takes 25-30 minutes whereas my bike ride the same distance takes 30-35. On the parts with bike lanes, I'm usually going faster than the cars, and on the parts with shared lanes, I'm usually getting from one poorly-timed traffic light to the next in about the same amount of time as the cars around me.
 
2011-06-03 02:28:44 PM  
dear lord think of the housing. on the good side you will have more mass transit options. on the down side you will probably see a spike in housing as people fight harder over living close to work (or whatever is important to them)
 
2011-06-03 02:28:46 PM  

raygundan: Kreigenstein: Not really, they're just measured and tested differently. A new Prius, tested to the EPA standards gets 50mpg. Using the same car in the Euro standard gets 76 mpg (imperial).

Imperial Gallons are 20% larger. The standards are different as well but the majority comes from their humongous gallons.


Look carefully at what you just wrote. Imperial Gallons are 20% larger. 50mpg * 1.2 = 60mpg... so it accounts for 10mpg of the 26mpg difference. It's obviously *not* the majority of the difference between EPA and UK fuel economy ratings.


Hmmm, So it is. Thank you.
 
2011-06-03 02:29:19 PM  

serial_crusher: kapaso: olddinosaur: Okay Farkers, here comes the math:

Let us say a Chevy Volt at 60 mpg costs $32K.

Let us say a comparable car with a 30 mpg gas engine costs $16K.

Let us say gas is $4 a gallon.

At that rate you would have to drive 240,000 miles to save the difference.

Simple?

And that doesn't include the extra interest most people would pay on the 32K. Run the numbers with a truck that gets 16mpg and the upgrade gets a lot more attractive though.

That's not going to stop you from biatching about the next gas price increase cutting your savings down to only 190,000 miles though.


The point, you missed it.

From a financial stand point, if you already have a vehicle that gets around 30 mpg, the numbers do not justify the expense of a new vehicle. I have called for higher taxes on gasoline as the solution that is most likely to succeed in getting the US off or cutting down our usage of foreign oil. Gas is too cheap, I don't complain about 4 dollar per gallon gas and I think straight 50-75 percent federal tax would do wonders for where this country is in about 7-10 years.

Considering our rural lifestyle, the fuel efficiency standards are a damn near emergency that need to be addressed. I do see a lot of people claim to be saving money by buying a new slightly more efficient car though. They usually aren't saving anything, just justifying a new purchase.
 
2011-06-03 02:29:46 PM  

Muta: Kuroshin: Only 45mpg, but infinitely better/cooler/hotter than yours.

And it's got a pillion seat! You can actually pick up chicks with it!

This gets 80-90 mpg and is cooler than that thing you post AND will get you laid.


Sorry, I'm not into dudes. If getting 80mpg means I can only get laid by guys in skinny jeans, I'll pass.

/I have to ride the Interstate, so a scooter won't work for me
//all kinds of illegal
 
2011-06-03 02:32:45 PM  

Tiberius Gracchus: My '94 Saturn with 225k miles on it still gets 39 mi/gallon. That's the standard I want to maintain...the hell with raising it.


1998 VW Jetta.
255k.
45 MPG.
50 MPG if I don't drive it like I stole it.
62MPG Once when I was hypermiling.

VW, Ford, etc all have some kick ass diesels over the sea. 60+ MPG right now, no batteries needed (other than the small 12V one).
 
2011-06-03 02:33:45 PM  

Hollie Maea: Kuroshin: Oh, and this:


How is that relevant to safety and build quality standards in India?
 
2011-06-03 02:34:15 PM  
How, exactly, do they expect to get these miracle fuel economy numbers? You can't just make a law and say, "Not our problem, Detroit, you figure it out." Cars are about as efficient as they can be unless you're willing to give up:

Size
Safety
Performance

And by size, I don't mean giant SUVs, but even Honda Civics only pull down 35 MPG or so (queue the know-nothing douche saying his gets 45 MPG from his and he drives with his foot on the floor all the time). They're proposing to double that number, meaning that a Civic would become a BIG car relative to the market of 62 MPG econoboxes. Complain all you want, but driving a car about the size of the Smart car is going to be your only alternative with those fuel economy numbers.

Safety adds weight. Keep piling up the crash standards and mandatory airbags, and the cars inevitably get heavier. Smaller cars made from lighter materials are not going to be safe. Sure, save the planet, but who's really going to want to put their kids in a 1300-pound car against the larger vehicles that will still undoubtedly be roaming the roads? You can't have it both ways.

And I'm not talking about 500 horsepower performance cars, I'm talking about going back to the days of 45 horsepower VW Rabbit diesels. 0-60 in 17 seconds or thereabouts. Even if you don't care about going fast, a car THAT slow is going to piss off even the greenest of the earth savers when he's trying to merge with 70 MPH traffic on the highway. Getting passed by kids on bicycles sucks.

Oh, yeah, hybrids. Make them so they don't need all the rare earth minerals from China and they're great. Good luck getting them light enough to make 62 MPG on average though, what with those heavy battery packs.

Hydrogen fuel cells? Awesome, I'd totally buy one. Just show me where the filling station is and I'll be on my way. Oh, wait, there aren't any companies willing to invest in an infrastructure before there's any demand. I guess I'll wait.

Diesel? Great, I love mine. Maybe diesel fuel will get cheaper to make them more competitive rather than a break-even proposition in terms of pure dollars. Oh, wait, it won't get cheaper because production is capped (this is where some knothead starts whining about tree-huggers preventing the construction of more refineries).

This is so stupid. Without a radical shift in lifestyles, this is simply impossible. And we've all seen how good Americans are at change.
 
2011-06-03 02:34:45 PM  

strathmeyer: serial_crusher: Infinity miles per gallon. You really think the government should enforce "efficiency" standards that don't include things like "hey fatass, stop carrying 4 tons of needless machinery to work with you every day"?

You guys are going to shiat yourselves when you learn what kind of fuel is used to ship your food to you.

I'm not sure exactly where climate hysteria is right now, but cycling certainly uses more gallons of fuel per mile traveled, and releases much more CO2 into the air.


Are you actually saying that exercising is bad for the environment? As in, don't burn any more calories than you have to, because then you'll eat more food and the people that raise and ship your food use fuel? You sound fat.
 
2011-06-03 02:35:43 PM  

markb289: If we are going to mandate something we should mandate the creation of the infrastructure for Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles. The cars are already here and the technology works. Hydrogen is clean. The only thing missing is a convenient system of fueling stations from coast to coast. The cost could be recouped via a modest tax on Hydrogen fueling.

I'd be happy to see my tax dollars pay for creation of that system so we could begin to wean ourselves from oil and tell the OPEC barons to drink their product.


Fuel cells aren't ready yet. Terrible power density and not very good efficiency.
 
2011-06-03 02:36:38 PM  

raygundan: lennavan: Yup. Here are the assumptions you made -

• The Volt will never run in electric mode


Be fair. This is not in his assumptions-- he said 60mpg, which is the EPA-rated combined city/highway/partial electric efficiency of the Volt. Put another way, it gets 37mpg combined if it never runs in electric mode, so he is quite clearly assuming it runs some of the time on electricity.


You make a good point. I retract that assumption =)
 
2011-06-03 02:38:38 PM  

Kuroshin: /pic is almost as hot as the bike
//best...bike...EVARRR


I guess, if you think a motorcycle is for going around in an oval really fast. *shrug*
 
2011-06-03 02:39:13 PM  

Kreigenstein: MrSteve007: moof: India is a stretch, but European safety standards are higher than US standards, yet still cars are more fuel efficient.

Not really, they're just measured and tested differently. A new Prius, tested to the EPA standards gets 50mpg. Using the same car in the Euro standard gets 76 mpg (imperial).

Imperial Gallons are 20% larger. The standards are different as well but the majority comes from their humongous gallons.


All replies to my post mention the different kind of gallons in use. Not sure if serious. Fuel efficiency is measured in liters per 100km in Europe. Properly converted, EU mileages are lower than EPA mileages for the same car because of a different cycle that is used for testing. All of which is mildly interesting, but doesn't explain away the fact that there are simply a whole lot more high mileage cars in Europe. European (and Japanese) car makers make fewer gas guzzling SUVs and trucks. Yet, unlike Indian cars, these do all meet stringent EU safety norms.

The point is, you can't say "well, at least our cars are safe" in a bid to defend pitifully low mileage. It's perfectly doable to make small, light cars that are still safe. That's all I'm saying.
 
2011-06-03 02:39:24 PM  

TheStag: strathmeyer: serial_crusher: Infinity miles per gallon. You really think the government should enforce "efficiency" standards that don't include things like "hey fatass, stop carrying 4 tons of needless machinery to work with you every day"?

You guys are going to shiat yourselves when you learn what kind of fuel is used to ship your food to you.

I'm not sure exactly where climate hysteria is right now, but cycling certainly uses more gallons of fuel per mile traveled, and releases much more CO2 into the air.

Are you actually saying that exercising is bad for the environment? As in, don't burn any more calories than you have to, because then you'll eat more food and the people that raise and ship your food use fuel? You sound fat.


How do you think crude oil gets moved across the ocean, refined and delivered to your gas station?
 
2011-06-03 02:40:29 PM  
There is no smug like bicycle rider smug.

In my town we have Winter temps as low as 0 degrees, snow, ice, mountains, rains, and twisty roads with no decent shoulder. Bikes are NOT a sane option even if you are Lance Armstrong.

Also, bikes don't really cut it for Home depot runs, getting firewood, grocery runs, liquor runs, going anywhere that requires appropriate attire, going anywhere that you don't want to show up stinking, etc.

Bikes are children's toys taken WAY too seriously.

/i poop on bikes
 
2011-06-03 02:42:12 PM  

Saiga410: Now he's back for more, with plans that could raise standards for cars and light-duty trucks as high as 62 mpg by 2025.


Lol WUT. You cannot mandate scietific progress. The last increase was doable but a doubling down again... aint going to happen.


3.bp.blogspot.com

"We choose to do [these] things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
 
2011-06-03 02:42:32 PM  

big pig peaches: Ella_Minnowpee: serial_crusher: Infinity miles per gallon. You really think the government should enforce "efficiency" standards that don't include things like "hey fatass, stop carrying 4 tons of needless machinery to work with you every day"?

Hear! Hear!

/bicyclist
//fitter
///thriftier
////un-repentant

Unfortunately most of the US do not have jobs within biking distance.


This.
 
2011-06-03 02:42:47 PM  

JerkStore: How, exactly, do they expect to get these miracle fuel economy numbers? You can't just make a law and say, "Not our problem, Detroit, you figure it out." Cars are about as efficient as they can be unless you're willing to give up:

Size
Safety
Performance

And by size, I don't mean giant SUVs, but even Honda Civics only pull down 35 MPG or so (queue the know-nothing douche saying his gets 45 MPG from his and he drives with his foot on the floor all the time). They're proposing to double that number, meaning that a Civic would become a BIG car relative to the market of 62 MPG econoboxes. Complain all you want, but driving a car about the size of the Smart car is going to be your only alternative with those fuel economy numbers.

Safety adds weight. Keep piling up the crash standards and mandatory airbags, and the cars inevitably get heavier. Smaller cars made from lighter materials are not going to be safe. Sure, save the planet, but who's really going to want to put their kids in a 1300-pound car against the larger vehicles that will still undoubtedly be roaming the roads? You can't have it both ways.

And I'm not talking about 500 horsepower performance cars, I'm talking about going back to the days of 45 horsepower VW Rabbit diesels. 0-60 in 17 seconds or thereabouts. Even if you don't care about going fast, a car THAT slow is going to piss off even the greenest of the earth savers when he's trying to merge with 70 MPH traffic on the highway. Getting passed by kids on bicycles sucks.

Oh, yeah, hybrids. Make them so they don't need all the rare earth minerals from China and they're great. Good luck getting them light enough to make 62 MPG on average though, what with those heavy battery packs.

Hydrogen fuel cells? Awesome, I'd totally buy one. Just show me where the filling station is and I'll be on my way. Oh, wait, there aren't any companies willing to invest in an infrastructure before there's any demand. I guess I'll wait.

Diesel? Great, I love mine. Maybe diesel fuel will get cheaper to make them more competitive rather than a break-even proposition in terms of pure dollars. Oh, wait, it won't get cheaper because production is capped (this is where some knothead starts whining about tree-huggers preventing the construction of more refineries).

This is so stupid. Without a radical shift in lifestyles, this is simply impossible. And we've all seen how good Americans are at change.


I carpooled to work today in a VW Jetta. It's fast, comfortable and gets 40mpg. Those "miracle numbers" are already common in Europe, from an American manufacturer even.

Link (new window)

It's not only possible, but necessary. Unless we want to continue to pump most of the money America earns to the oil producing nations.
 
2011-06-03 02:44:46 PM  

ha-ha-guy: I said people, not person.


If you don't think this is what people want, go look at the sales reports for the new 3.5L F-150 engine. Then look at the number of folk that have moved back into Rangers, Colorados, and Dakotas over the last several years. Yes, the general public preferred large trucks for a long while, but that trend has reversed.

/you can get a 2.3 Liter Ranger for cheap
//don't think you can get the cab though without going to the big truck level


The 2.3L in the Ranger is a 20-year-old powerplant that was bored out and attached to an EFI system. Last I checked, you had to go to the V6 to get an extended cab. The next 3 best options are 2.5 Nissan, 2.7L Toyota, and 2.9L GM. All three are awful engines with very poor efficiency characteristics.
 
2011-06-03 02:45:17 PM  

Snarfangel: If you want to efficiently reduce fuel consumption, raise the gas tax. People will yell and scream, but you will hit whatever target of fuel consumption you desire -- and far more quickly -- than any CAFE standard you could impose."


Don't forget that there's some arguement that CAFE standards have actually worsened fleet mpgs - by driving peopel to less or even unregulated 'commercial' vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.

serial_crusher: You're going to have to elaborate on that. Maybe if you're riding some top of the line racing bike and cleaning/replacing components regularly. But, you can go to craigslist and get a reasonable commuter bike for like $300. Ride that to work twice a week and you're going to pay it off in gas savings after a couple months.


My commute, total, is 20 miles. In my 20mpg truck, that's $1 gallon. At $4/gallon, that's $4 to get to work, or 75 commutes to break even on that $300 bike. That's 15 weeks at 5 days a week, or just over 3 months.
 
2011-06-03 02:45:47 PM  

bookman: And that last is, I think, the main reason a lot of Americans like big cars: the safety issue. Has nothing to do with penis size whatsoever (mine is just fine, thank you - except that I need lots of room under the steering wheel to fit it). The people that harp, on this little insult probably all have small pricks themselves, which fits with my general theory of human nature.


It's actually a reverse safety issue. Two Civics colliding are a lot less likely to get their occupants killed than two F-250s colliding. Bigger cars are less safe for everybody else- bad brakes, terrible turning, limited visibility.

Allowing bigger cars on the road means that ordinary people buy bigger cars in self defense. Banning non-commercial large vehicles would make everybody safer.

As far as making all cars plug-in, can't be done. We don't have anywhere near the generator capacity for that. Gonna need some serious nuclear power plants for that.
 
2011-06-03 02:46:29 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: What a high-mpg American car done right mike look like:


OMG! Are those Steve Maddens?
 
2011-06-03 02:46:37 PM  

jest788: This is going to be my next car... 23 mpg! woot


LOL, my ZX10r cost less than 1/5 as much, gets 40+mpg, and will smoke that Challenger.

/just messing with you
 
2011-06-03 02:46:41 PM  

alabasterblack: big pig peaches: Ella_Minnowpee: serial_crusher: Infinity miles per gallon. You really think the government should enforce "efficiency" standards that don't include things like "hey fatass, stop carrying 4 tons of needless machinery to work with you every day"?

Hear! Hear!

/bicyclist
//fitter
///thriftier
////un-repentant

Unfortunately most of the US do not have jobs within biking distance.

This.


Wrong (new window). Over half are within the easily bikable 10 miles.
 
2011-06-03 02:47:08 PM  

JerkStore: How, exactly, do they expect to get these miracle fuel economy numbers? You can't just make a law and say, "Not our problem, Detroit, you figure it out." Cars are about as efficient as they can be unless you're willing to give up:

Size
Safety
Performance

And by size, I don't mean giant SUVs, but even Honda Civics only pull down 35 MPG or so (queue the know-nothing douche saying his gets 45 MPG from his and he drives with his foot on the floor all the time). They're proposing to double that number, meaning that a Civic would become a BIG car relative to the market of 62 MPG econoboxes. Complain all you want, but driving a car about the size of the Smart car is going to be your only alternative with those fuel economy numbers.

Safety adds weight. Keep piling up the crash standards and mandatory airbags, and the cars inevitably get heavier. Smaller cars made from lighter materials are not going to be safe. Sure, save the planet, but who's really going to want to put their kids in a 1300-pound car against the larger vehicles that will still undoubtedly be roaming the roads? You can't have it both ways.

And I'm not talking about 500 horsepower performance cars, I'm talking about going back to the days of 45 horsepower VW Rabbit diesels. 0-60 in 17 seconds or thereabouts. Even if you don't care about going fast, a car THAT slow is going to piss off even the greenest of the earth savers when he's trying to merge with 70 MPH traffic on the highway. Getting passed by kids on bicycles sucks.

Oh, yeah, hybrids. Make them so they don't need all the rare earth minerals from China and they're great. Good luck getting them light enough to make 62 MPG on average though, what with those heavy battery packs.

Hydrogen fuel cells? Awesome, I'd totally buy one. Just show me where the filling station is and I'll be on my way. Oh, wait, there aren't any companies willing to invest in an infrastructure before there's any demand. I guess I'll wait.

Diesel? Great, I love mine. Maybe diesel fuel will get cheaper to make them more competitive rather than a break-even proposition in terms of pure dollars. Oh, wait, it won't get cheaper because production is capped (this is where some knothead starts whining about tree-huggers preventing the construction of more refineries).

This is so stupid. Without a radical shift in lifestyles, this is simply impossible. And we've all seen how good Americans are at change.


Even better. I actually own and SUV (Xterra). My wife and I fairly active and it's actually a good vehicle for our lifestyle, which is why I bought it (I did just get back from 6 days of off-roading with it in Moab and we're looking to go mountain-biking and hiking at various destinations across the west this fall). There's zippy chance of me getting rid of it because it's paid off and it still runs well. Even if something breaks, I'm good enough with cars to fix it myself, so it'll likely get to 200K miles or more with me still driving it.

While we're not in the market for another vehicle at all, something like this could force my hand in getting the wife a 370Z or something like that.

Why yes, I remember the black hole of cars that was the 1980s. No, I don't want to participate in that.
 
2011-06-03 02:47:22 PM  

moof: All replies to my post mention the different kind of gallons in use. Not sure if serious. Fuel efficiency is measured in liters per 100km in Europe. Properly converted, EU mileages are lower than EPA mileages for the same car because of a different cycle that is used for testing.


Properly converted, EU mileages are generally more fuel efficient than EPA ratings. Whether this is "higher" or "lower" depends on whether we converted both to L/100km or both to mpg, which may be where the confusion comes in. In mpg, EU ratings are higher (more efficient) than US. In L/100km, US ratings are higher (less efficient) than EU.
 
2011-06-03 02:47:47 PM  

jjorsett: Bicycles (and human/animal powered transportation in general) are quite 19th century.


If you're going by the year the machine was invented, then (A) the first automobile was constructed in about 1769 (new window), while bicycles were introduced in the 19th century (new window), and (B) you're an idiot.
 
2011-06-03 02:50:03 PM  

Hollie Maea: Wrong (new window). Over half are within the easily bikable 10 miles.


He said "most of the US." With two-thirds of our population overweight, it's entirely believable that most of those folks can't manage to bike ten miles.
 
2011-06-03 02:53:14 PM  

SpectroBoy: In my town we have Winter temps as low as 0 degrees, snow, ice, mountains, rains, and twisty roads with no decent shoulder. Bikes are NOT a sane option even if you are Lance Armstrong.


Mountains in Connecticut. Sure thing.

You're lazy and a wuss, it's ok.

SpectroBoy: Also, bikes don't really cut it for Home depot runs, getting firewood, grocery runs, liquor runs, going anywhere that requires appropriate attire, going anywhere that you don't want to show up stinking, etc.


You don't have to give up a car altogether silly. I go to the liquor store all the time on my bike, HD rents trucks (which I have to do anyway once or twice a year) and once you aren't a huffing lard ass if you ride at a reasonable pace you don't get sweaty and stinky. I rode to a job interview in a suit once and no one was the wiser (alright, I didn't wear the tie on the bike).
 
2011-06-03 02:54:12 PM  

limeyfellow: I guess we could take lessons from India. They introduce 60mpg cars for $7000 and don't seem to have much of a problem.

Of course it means not driving a tank everywhere and that would make people cry.


It actually means not hauling your family of 5 on a moped, but instead use a golf cart.
 
2011-06-03 02:54:20 PM  

dragonchild: Snarfangel: If you want to efficiently reduce fuel consumption, raise the gas tax.

Or you could be like Japan, and bracket the vehicle registration fees based on engine displacement*. Of course, that means a lot of cars have their displacement right at the upper limit of a bracket. . . but you also see lots of 660cc minis.

jjorsett: And as long as we're going back to the 19th century, we can return to beating our clothes on rocks, constructing things without power machinery, and schlepping household water in buckets.

That looks like 19th century technology to you? Did they even have aluminum frames back then?

*With a correction for rotary engines, you cheaters


Pretty sure that's carbon (which may have been your point), making it most assuredly 21st Century tech.

/steel is real.
 
2011-06-03 02:56:08 PM  
I drive a Yamaha 250 Virago which gets 70 mpg city, considerably better on the road.

It cost me $2400 in showroom condition with 5,000 miles.

I figure I will keep it 4 years, drive it 60,000 miles and junk it. Between purchase price, gas, tires, oil, repairs and insurance, I figure the next closest thing I could buy would be at least three times as expensive.

But the real fun is griping about paying $6 to top off the tank, when I am standing next to some poor bastard who just shredded $100 to fill up his Navigator and he looks like he's about to strangle me.

Another line which works well is: "-----what's that you say? The price of gasoline went up? I really haven't noticed."

Pisses 'em off deluxe.
 
2011-06-03 02:56:31 PM  
For the people comparing the cost of biking vs. driving, it isn't fair to count the cost of bike and accessories against the cost of gas alone. Even an average small car, say a Corolla, costs about 50c/mi when you figure in the total cost of ownership (over 5 years, 10k mi per year). That means with 30mpg, that 30 miles traveled will still cost more like $15 total -- not just the $4 in gas. Even with an old car, gas usually only makes up less than half the cost of driving. Insurance, oil changes, washes, tires, parking (at home and at work), etc. all add up.
 
2011-06-03 02:58:26 PM  

serial_crusher: big pig peaches: Unfortunately most of the US do not have jobs within biking distance.

Just a suggestion. I don't see that many people carpooling or taking advantage of public transportation where it is available.

And usually "not within bike/carpool/bus distance" really just means you can't avail that option without some slight discomfort. It's so hard to have to transfer between two buses, or spend a few extra minutes picking up your carpool friends.

Fact is, for the majority of Americans, driving just yourself in a vehicle that's designed for 4 or more people is a luxury, not a right. It's fine if you want to spend your money on a luxury, but I don't see why the government should be expected to subsidize or regulate the price of luxuries.

Have you guys seen the price of caviar lately? We've got to do something about that!


Carpooling does not work in a non 9-5 world. Public transit infrastructure is generally terrible between urban centres in North America. By car, my old commute took 45 to 75 minutes, depending on traffic. The same trip by bus or train took two and a half hours. That's each way. A home within biking distance (say 15-20km) averaged $425,000 vs 220,000 within commuting.

I am sure you can afford the extra quarter million on your mortgage, but everyone can't be you bucko. It is not a one option world.
 
2011-06-03 02:59:36 PM  

ciberido: Kuroshin: /pic is almost as hot as the bike
//best...bike...EVARRR

I guess, if you think a motorcycle is for going around in an oval really fast. *shrug*


Not sure if serious...

www.superpimps.com

/to be fair, I've been ratcheting the douchebag to 11 myself, just for this thread
//hey, if bikers can't take the piss out of each other, why ride at all?
 
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